INTERNAL USE ONLY - TO VIEW IN HTML: http://oakleysm.com/2010_Tour_de_France_01

The 2010 Tour de France starts tomorrow in Rotterdam where wind and flat rounds create a great start to the biggest race in cycling. Oakley will have over 65 riders wearing Radar, Radar XL, Jawbone and Split Jacket in the coming stages, below you can learn about our top ten riders, as well as where you can follow the brand for an in depth look to all the stages.

Custom renditions of Oakley's premium performance sunglass designs are what riders will depend on as they strive for the yellow jersey throughout the next three weeks. With the Oakley Custom Program, tour fans can create eyewear designs that match those worn by their favorite tour competitors.

"We answered the demands of the world's best riders with unbeatable optical technology, then we let them sit in the designer's chair so each one could add his own personal touch," said Oakley CEO Colin Baden. "Oakley Radar and Jawbone are coveted designs among today's world-class cyclists, and these sunglasses exemplify our dedication to providing the best possible performance and protection."

Oakley riders have been dominating the Tour de France since Greg Lemond won in 1986 wearing the Oakley Eyeshade in dramatic fashion. Since that first win for Oakley, the brand has pulled in 12 Tour de France overall victories, three from Lemond and seven coming in consecutive order from 1999 to 2005 courtesy of Lance Armstrong.

Oakley followed up those victories with Oscar Pereiro in 2007 and Carlos Sastre in 2008 taking home the overall Yellow Jersey. Last year Oakley did not win the overall, but did capture the other two podium places with Andy Schleck in 2nd and Lance Armstrong in 3rd place. Additionally, the brand won 15 of the 21 stages, six coming from Mark Cavendish and 14 days with the brand wearing the hallowed Yellow Jersey.

Oakley has over 80 riders in the 2010 field with ten specific riders to pay special attention to, below is a breakdown for each of them.

Lance Armstrong is back and bringing all his experience and power to capture a historic 8th win of the coveted yellow jersey. From the nasty cobbles in Belgium to the leg-snapping climbs in the Pyrenees, Lance will rely on Oakley Jawbone and Radar sunglasses, and they will take him all the way to the finish in Paris. He wears the LIVESTRONG edition, a design that carries the colors of the namesake foundation.
Fabian Cancellara is the defending world champion and Olympic champion of the time trial, also known as "the race against the clock." He is considered the man to beat when it comes to the cobblestones. Radar is his choice in optical performance gear, and with the Oakley Custom Program, he has put his own touch on style by choosing a Metallic Blue frame with White earsocks and a Black Iridium lens in our Path lens shape.
During the sprint stages, Mark Cavendish is the man to watch in the final 200 meters. He is one of the fastest men on two wheels, and when he has a good lead out from his copilot Mark Renshaw,no one can beat him. Mark's Oakley favorite is BMX Chrome Jawbone customized with a Team Green Jaw. He chose Pearl for the thru-bolts and White for the earsocks, and he will be adapting to light conditions by having Black Iridium and Fire Iridium lenses on hand.
Andy Schleck was second best at last year's Tour. This year, he'll be putting everything he's got into reaching the top step. With the help of his brother Frank in the mountains, and guys like Fabian Cancellara and Stuart O'Grady in the flats, things look good for him taking the win in Paris. Andy knows Oakley HDPolarized lenses block blinding glare with the best optics and protection on the planet, and he likes Ice Iridium polarized lenses in his custom Jawbone eyewear. He chose Team Navy Blue for the frame and Polished White for the jaw, then added White earsocks to the mix. When light conditions change, Andy will also have a set of Black Iridium lenses on hand for instant adaptation.
The 2008 TdF champ, Carlos Sastre knows what it takes to get through 21 stages and win the yellow jersey. In the hardest climbs, look for him to be at the front. Carlos got busy with Oakley Custom to create an original edition of Radar. It has Polished White with polished black icons and yellow socks as that is his personal signature combo in being a former Tour de France champion. He prefers the Path lens shape and the precise light transmission of a Black Iridium lens, especially when the route is washed out in blinding sunlight.
Thor Hushovd is last year's winner of the green jersey for the sprint. With a late-season collarbone injury behind him, he's ready to give it all in the sprints and bring home stage wins - and earn the overall win for the green jersey in Paris. Thor trusts his eyes to Oakley Radar, and his custom frame matches his recent achievement of being the newly crowned Norwegian champion. This custom combo will combine the colors of his national champion uniform, which include the infrared frame with blue icons and white socks. He wears the Path lens shape and prefers the truer color recognition and balanced light transmission of our Black Iridium lens. In addition he also wears the BMX chrome Radar glass with Red socks.
Cadel Evans started his career racing mountain bikes, and he won silver medals at the '97 and '99 U23 World Championships. He is the current world champ and he's having a great year with his BMC Racing Team. Watch out for Cadel at tour 2010, as his champion jersey is creating a bit of luck for him. Cadel turned up the heat on Radar by choosing a Fire Iridium lens in the Path shape and matching it with a Polished White frame, Red earsocks and Red icons.
A man of class and courage, George Hincapie is best known as a contender for the one-day classics, especially the roads of Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. He has some unfinished business to attend to on the cobblestones, so look for him in the opening stages where he will be fighting for a big win. The guy can climb, so watch for him at Cadel's side in the mountains. George went with red, white and blue for his Jawbone sunglasses. The eyewear combines Anodized Red thru-bolts and Team Red icons with a Matte White frame and a Team Blue jaw. Red Iridium Polarized lenses give him the glare-stopping performance he needs, and he'll also have Fire Iridium lenses on hand for when light conditions change.

Everyone knows Bradley Wiggins is there when it counts, and he can put on the steam in time trial climbs. His Sky Team is built around keeping him in the right place to cover the big moves with the other favorites. Bradley's choice in optical gear is Jawbone, and he depends on Oakley HDPolarized lenses to keep him focused when glare gets nasty. He usually has our Ice Iridium Polarized lenses installed, but keeps Black Iridium lenses on hand for a fast change-out. His Polished Black frame has a Polished White jaw, giving it a bit of a killer whale look and a menacing attitude. He chose Team Red for the icons and Anodized Red for the thru-bolts, and he finished it off with White earsocks.

Three-time World Time Trial Champion Michael "Mick" Rogers is back on form after a few years of injury, and his recent win at the Tour of California put critics in their place. Mick is poised to take a shot at the yellow in Paris, and you should watch for him on the sprint stages where he is the starter of Mark Cavendish's lead-out train. Mick puts his trust and faith in Radar performance sunglasses, and he sports his colors with a White Chrome frame matched with Bright Green earsocks and Team Yellow icons. He prefers the Path lens shape and the precise light filtering of our Black Iridium lens, perfect for battling bright sun.
The first week is always focused on the sprinters, but this year it also can determine the overall as every second counts when they get to the finish in Paris. Specifically look at Stage 3, which goes thru seven nasty cobblestone sections, which all together equal the effort of a major climb in the mountains.

The main guys from the Classics like Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank), Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky), George Hincapie (BMC) and Thor Hushovd (Cervelo) will be at home while the Climbers will quickly and violently be shown front row what they are missing during the Classics season in the spring.

To give you a taste of what is to come on Stage 3 - visit this site

Our story is as long as our history of innovation. We will distill it into key messages that reflect the event and the demands of its champions at Behind The Tour's website. Areas that will be highlighted on this website are Performance Eyewear, Customization and our top Athletes with photos and videos.

- Performance Eyewear: Jawbone, Radar, Radar XL, and the nostalgia of the new Limited Edition BMX Chrome Radar Path and Limited Edition BMX Chrome Jawbone.

- Customization: The performance advantages of lens interchangeability, and the performance boost of inspiration that comes with personalized eyewear. Oakley's custom program that allows fans from around the world to make the same custom eyewear their favorite riders will be wearing the next three weeks.

- Athletes & Videos: How they put their faith and trust in Oakley innovation in their own words through behind the scenes interviews from our top Sports Marketing Managers buried deep in the trenches.